Worth a Thousand Words – Wildflowers in Death Valley
Death Valley National Park has the hottest overall temperatures on earth, including the highest recorded air temperature of 134 degrees. With an average of less than two inches of rain a year, the plants there manage to eke out their survival in harsh conditions.
So during the rare years when several inches of rain show up in a few months in fall and winter, it’s miraculous for plants. The long-dormant seeds burst out in carpets of wildflowers across the desert floor. Luckily for me, for five days in February I was able to experience this spectacle.
I have stories to share about my journey in a future post. For now, it’s all about photos of the flowers.
Desert five-spot, an uncommon flower
Desert gold, the showy and densely growing flower that turns entire landscapes yellow
Scented cryptantha, easy to miss with its tiny blossoms
Notch-leaf phacelia—I was glad a ranger warned me that touching it can cause a rash
The night-blooming brown-eyed evening primrose, at sunset as blossoms opened
Golden evening primrose soon after sunrise, with the notch-leaf phacelia
Pebble pincushion, the only one of this species that I saw
Desert-star, looking like miniature daisies
(Two additional Death Valley posts feature my adventure in a storm and more landscapes.) For more of this ephemeral beauty, check out Death Valley National Park’s video about this year’s bloom.